This week 150 years ago, citizens in the state of Arkansas were afforded the privilege of acquiring surplus military supplies at the Little Rock Arsenal, a common practice prior to the Civil War. Originally built in response to the “perceived dangers” of the frontier, including the various Native Americans finding their way through the Arkansas Territory en route to the recently established Oklahoma Territory, the Little Rock Arsenal was Governor Elias Conway’s response to meet the security demands of the citizens of central Arkansas. Following the initial response for the need of extra frontier security, the Little Rock Arsenal served as a depot for small arms and other various military supplies. Following is an excerpt from an 1860 Arkansas newspaper outlining a multitude of various military supplies offered for sale to the public:

[LITTLE ROCK] ARKANSAS TRUE DEMOCRAT, April 28, 1860
Sale of United States Property.
There will be sold at the United States Arsenal at Little Rock, Arkansas, on the 28th day of May next, the following public property, viz:
3 Sets of two wheel Harness;
1 ” ” ” ”
35 Whips;
229 Muskets, Percussion;
3 ” Flint;
158 Rifles, (Hall’s) Flint;
45 ” Contract ”
11 Colt’s Pistols;
32 Carbines, (Hall’s)
5 ” (Jenk’s)
25 ” (Sharp’s)
36 ” (Burnside’s)
21 Sabres, Horse Artillery and Cavalry;
24 Swords, Foot Artillery;
38 ” Non. Com. Officers and Musicians;
422 Cartridge Boxes;
391 ” Box Belts;
703 Belt Plates, assorted;
331 Bayonet Scabbards;
11 Holsters and Pouches;
7 Copper Flasks;
62 Saddles, (Grimley’s)
27 Valises
175 lbs. Powder, (Cannon)
670 ” ” (Rifle)
3,820 Percussion Caps, sporting;
54 Curb Bridles, (Dragoon Bit)
20 Horse Brushes;
60 Circingles.
With many other articles too numerous to mention. Sale to commence at 10 o’clock precisely.

Rich’d Fatherly,
M. S. K. Ord.
U. S. Arsenal, Little Rock, April 26, 1860.